Four years ago, Steve Martin was in Afghanistan, riding in a jeep with four others, when his life changed.
A bomb blew up the jeep, and Martin lost his legs.
On Saturday, with prosthetic legs, he was in Peoria running his sixth race of the year.
“I’m not going to let this stop me,” said Martin, a reserve DPS officer. “It might slow me down, but I won’t let it stop me from living my life.”
Martin was joined by more than 350 other participants in the third annual Veteran’s Day 5K Race at Rio Vista Park.
The event featured three races for runners, walkers and children.
“It’s great because this is a time to remember everyone who has served our country,” Martin said.
Jeff Crane, director of the event, said last year there were 64 participants in the races.
Peoria resident Carroll Worsinup and her friends, Diana Blevins and Terri Halrash, run in several 5K races and choose events that have causes.
“We always pick races that benefit a cause or are about something,” Worsinup said. “Veterans have done so much for our nation, and we wouldn’t be here without them.”
Jeff Hebert, a Peoria resident, ran along with his 5-year-old son, Cole, in the children’s race.
“I like to try and get out to do some events in the city and doing this one on Veterans Day with my sons makes it even more special,” Hebert said.